Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF) soldiers from the 51st Infantry, Battalion 407 have admitted to shooting dead over 40 cows and injuring 50 others in Amudat district, northern Uganda.
It is alleged that the animals were grazing at the border area of Naporokoch parish in Amudat district and Korite of Kween district when the group met with UPDF soldiers on patrol. Amudat district chairman Joseph Lobot explains that the young shepherds had driven the cows to drink water from the Kween side where Pokot pastoralists have been banned from grazing.
The UPDF confirmed the incident but said that the cows were killed in an exchange of fire between the Pokot armed warriors and the forces. Maj Moses Amuya, the acting UPDF 3rd division spokesperson confirmed the incident but claimed the cows were killed in a fire exchange between the Pokot armed warriors and the forces.
Amuya noted that during the exchange, the warriors withdrew towards the herd which they used as their shield in the crossfire. One UPDF soldier was also injured. But Lobot refuted this version of the UPDF asserting that if that was the case, a number of the so-called warriors would have been injured as well.
He urged the security forces to consider uniting all the conflicted communities to embrace peace and not to take sides which are resulting in the escalation of insecurity. Earlier in September this year, the army arrested their own officer who went on a shooting spree that left over 40 cows dead in Moruita sub county Nakapiripirit district. The cows shot were part of the 291 cattle recovered from Pokot community following the raid that occurred in the areas of Naborokocha.